Alternate Title

The Distribution and Abundance of the Bay Anchovy, Anchoa mitchilli, in a Southeast Texas Marsh Lake System

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A one-year distribution and abundance study on the bay anchovy, Anchoa mitchilli, was conducted in a southeast Texas marsh-lake system from March 1990 through February 1991. Day and night collections were conducted in backwaters, lake shores, and lake centers by seining and trawling. Bay anchovies were the second most abundant fish species collected, and exhibited seasonal, diet and habitat variations in abundance and distribution. Across the study area, seasonal abundance peaks occurred in May and August following migration into the marsh and seasonal recruitment. However, within each habitat type, peaks of abundance varied in time of occurrence. Within habitats, significant differences in the mean number of anchovies occurred such that backwaters in the daytime had the greatest number followed by backwaters at night, lake shores in the daytime, and lake shores at night. Lake center collections showed no significant diel pattern. The presence of vegetation was associated with reduced anchovy numbers; however, when present, anchovies were significantly more abundant in the daytime than at night.

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